Paraguay Threshold Program, Stage II

  • Grant Total: $30,300,000
  • Signed: April 14, 2009

Paraguay’s second, or “stage II,” Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) threshold program will build upon the substantial achievements of Paraguay’s initial threshold program by targeting improved performance on MCC’s Control of Corruption and Rule of Law indicators.

The $30.3 million program will focus on anti-corruption efforts in law enforcement, customs, and the healthcare and judicial sectors. The objective of the program is not only to reduce opportunities for corruption and increase successful prosecution of wrongdoers, but also to improve public opinion of the government’s efforts in these areas and reinforce Paraguay’s commitment to combating corruption.

Strengthening Control Systems

Objective: To improve internal control mechanisms in Paraguay public institutions by expanding the use and impact of the Standardized Model of Internal Control in public institutions, in particular at the Ministry of Health, and expanding the Integrated Financial Management System’s coverage and integration with other systems.


  • Implement the Standardized Model of Internal Control in additional ministries through training and technical support, including the Ministry of Health, the Customs Office, and the judiciary.
  • Develop a system to track key findings and audit recommendations.
  • Provide technical assistance to promote civil society participation and improve mechanism to receive and process citizen complaints.
  • Expand the Integrated Financial Management System to cover additional entities, including local governments.
  • Provide information technology support to improve the Ministry of Health procurement system.
  • Establish a management unit to oversee the storage and distribution system of the Ministry of Health.
  • Hold public hearings and increase avenues for filing complaints as a part of the communication campaign.
Strengthening the Administrative Tribunal and the Judicial Control and Disciplinary Systems

Objective: To reduce corruption in the judiciary by strengthening its disciplinary, internal control, and financial systems, and to improve the judiciary’s ability to dispose of corruption cases at the administrative tribunals.

Implement internal control mechanisms in the judiciary.

Standardize administrative procedures and quality management systems in the judiciary’s General Internal Audit Office.

Conduct organizational and regulatory reforms in the Administrative Tribunal.

Design and implement awareness campaigns on judicial reforms targeted toward judges, judicial staff, lawyers, public notaries, and nongovernmental organizations.

Strengthening the Customs Office

Objective: To increase the capacity of the Customs Office in order to fight smuggling and tax evasion.


  • Establish a central base of operations for the anti-smuggling offices in Asunción, in addition to the development of branch offices and a database for tracking investigations and seizures.
  • Increase the number of audits conducted, and digitalize cargo manifests and records of depositories.
  • Implement the Standardized Model of Internal Control in the main offices of the Customs Office, and establish a specialized team for internal investigations.
  • Implement a one-stop shop mechanism for the import and export of goods.
  • Implement awareness campaigns on the progress of reform and establish a central office for complaints.
Strengthening the Investigative Capacity of the Prosecutors Office

Objective: To increase the investigative capacity of the Prosecutor’s Office to address highly-complex corruption


  • Improve the capacity of the Economic Crimes and Anti-Corruption Unit through training, creation and coordination of task forces, and improved connectivity systems.
  • Implement internal control systems in the Prosecutor’s Office and its Disciplinary Office.
  • Expand the capabilities of the Forensic Laboratory and provide technical assistance to its personnel and management.
  • Restructure the Office of Crimes against Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Implement a communication plan focused on awareness campaigns, civic education activities, and civil society participation in monitoring and evaluation of corruption.
Strengthening the National Police

Objectives: To increase transparency and integrity within the National Police, to reduce corruption within the National Police by strengthening internal control and disciplinary mechanisms, and to improve services provided by the National Police.


  • Reform the selection, evaluation, management and training of the National Police.
  • Implement the Standardized Model of Internal Control through drafting of procedural manuals and job descriptions, and increase transparency in senior management.
  • Conduct an assessment of the current police communication system in Asunción, and provide priority systems to improve response services.
  • Develop and implement communication and civic education activities on reforms, including procedures and mechanisms for filling complaints.
Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

Objective: To strengthen Paraguay’s fight against counterfeiting and violations of intellectual property rights, thereby reducing corruption in these areas.


  • Provide technical assistance for organizational and structural reform of the Specialized Technical Unit, including creation of a regional office in Ciudad del Este.
  • Promote citizen participation through a whistler-blower program and a civic education strategy.
  • Create a mechanism to improve coordination with relevant institutions.